April 19, Qingdao - Nowadays, autonomous driving has become a pivotal breakthrough in transforming and upgrading the automotive industry, as well as a key to revolutionize the smart logistics industry. On April 18th, FAW Jiefang J7 series and L4 level autonomous cars were successfully launched at Qingdao Port Container Terminal. At the press conference, the new-generation commercial heavy truck Jiefang J7, equipped with an L4 level of autonomous driving system, was operating in an unmanned state. It accurately and efficiently completed stages of standard port operations, including automatic loading, driving, steering, parking, and unloading. Thus it has become the first commercial operation of autonomous vehicles in a real port environment, setting a new benchmark for the commercial development of smart driving. It also indicates that the trend for global intelligent automation of container terminals has become unstoppable. As a strategic partner of FAW Jiefang, PlusAI provided exclusive driverless technical support for the release of J7.
Parking error of plus or minus 2cm, PlusAi L4 level of autonomous driving bolsters Jiefang J7 port operations
At the press conference, Jiefang J7 commercial heavy truck, equipped with PlusAi level of L4 autonomous driving, was used in the port field operation system to automatically plan the trajectory, detect and avoid obstacles, monitor the loading status and lighting system, audit the amount of gas, design driving trajectory, and drive to the gas station to refuel. To fulfil the operation needs of different ports, it has accurately and efficiently completed series of actions such as automatic loading, driving, steering, parking, unloading, and etc.
As it’s publicly known, under the circumstance of port operations, the design of the gantry crane determines its demanding requirements, which specifies heavy trucks to be parked accurately under the spreader, and the front-to-rear error cannot exceed plus or minus 5cm. In addition, the steel cage structure of the bridge crane prevents the satellite navigation system from accurately pinpointing the location, which increases the difficulties of precision parking. PlusAI self-developed precision positioning and control system perfectly integrates deep learning visual algorithms. Aided by lane detection, LiDar (laser detection and measurement), SLAM (instant positioning and map building) and other solutions, Jiefang J7 was able to precisely park with an error of plus or minus 2cm.
In addition, port operations require long trailers. To safely and smoothly drive to the bridge crane unloader is another important challenge in today’s driverless operations. PlusAI self-developed intelligent heavy truck control program absorbs and imitates the control methods of senior drivers in the port, simultaneously take attributes of cars and roads into consideration, to ensure that Jiefang J7 trucks strictly complies with the port specifications during the driving process and smoothly enters and exits the column area, quayside and other difficult driving areas. PlusAI driverless solution also includes obstacle detection and tracking algorithms based on visual perception and multiple sensor fusions, providing cost-efficient, all-weather, and multi-operating obstacle avoidance functions. Compared with manned port operation, this will significantly improve the security, accuracy and handling efficiency of the entire process.
Targeting the drawbacks of current logistics industry, unmanned heavy trucks lead the future of port intelligence
In recent years, with the increasing prosperity of China’s import and export trade, there’s more pressure on port and terminal logistics, becoming one of the industries in urgent need of transformation. It is a pressing question for every ports when considering how to maintain 24-hour efficient, safe and accurate operations. FAW Jiefang thus decided to collaborate with PlusAI to launch unmanned heavy truck to solve the drawbacks of port logistics and to steer China’s logistics industry towards the fast lane of intelligent development.
Qiu Xiandong, FAW Group Deputy General Manager and a member of the Standing Committee of the Party o Faw Group, stated in his speech that FAW Jiefang has never stopped on the road to industrial advancement and national service. Jiefang Series 7 heavy truck J7 and L4 level of autonomous driving car is the latest achievement by inheriting more than 60 years of vehicle manufacturing experiences, fully understanding market norms and customer needs, and system integration of intelligent network technology. In the future, with the deep application of intelligent network-linked technology, FAW Jiefang will create a new operating model for the logistics industry, injecting strong momentum for the transformation and upgrade of China’s auto and logistics industry.
“PlusAi is committed to the revolution and transformation of current automobiles and logistics industry, using artificial intelligence as a technological engine.” Dr. Liu Wanqian, CEO of PlusAi, said, “PlusAi has L4 level of autonomous driving abilities based on high-precision mapping, deep learning perception, path planning and control, and several other technologies. This time, the cooperation with heavy truck industry’s leader FAW Group demonstrated the joint efforts and current success we have achieved in promoting the development of intelligent driving and smart ports.”
Founded in Silicon Valley, US., PlusAi is a fast-growing international technology innovation company, engined by artificial intelligence and focused on smart driving. Currently, it has the industry’s leading L4 level of autonomous driving capabilities. PlusAI has R&D centers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi’an. More than 90% are R&D personnel. They have assembled top-level artificial intelligence and deep learning experts. PlusAI CEO Dr. Liu obtained master and Ph.D. degree of electrical engineering from Stanford University. He was selected by the government for the seventh “Thousand People Project” and thus appointed as a nation specialist.
Last year in March, PlusAI became one of the first companies to obtain the license for autonomous driving test in California, and soon after it launched partnerships with auto companies such as FAW Jiefang, SAIC, Chery, Zoomlion, and other auto companies to promote smart driving business. PlusAI has undertaken the role of being a forerunner to promote the transformation of commercialized autonomous driving. PlusAi endeavors to provide more cost-efficient and compatible intelligent products and technologies to the automobile and logistics transportation industry through self-developed technological innovations, thereby transforming the future of logistics, transportation and mechanical operations.
This year in March, PlusAi and FAW Group announced that they had reached strategic in-depth cooperation in terms of commercialized intelligent vehicles and information technology products. Both will jointly promote the industrialization of intelligent commercial vehicles. According to the agreement, the two parties will leverage relative technological advantage to jointly establish a commercial vehicle project team, targeting at the application and industrialization of commercial vehicles on highways and specific areas. In the future, both sides will integrate their mutual advantage to jointly promote the testing and operation of smart driving commercial vehicle products in North America and China, to expand the market for autonomous commercial vehicles and to promote the industrialization of smart driving.